Vasculitis refers to a group of
diseases in which there is inflammation and destruction of the small,
medium or large blood vessels in the body. These include Giant Cell
Arteritis (Temporal Arteritis), Takaysu's Arteritis, Granulomatosis with
Polyangiitis (Wegener's), microscopic polyangitis, Churg-Strauss
Syndrome, Henoch-Schonlein purpura and cutaneous vasculitis. Infections,
cancer and even drugs can produce symptoms of a vasculitis.
Symptoms vary from one person to another, however, fever, weight loss,
fatigue and rashes are common. Organs that can be affected include the
eyes, lungs, kidneys, skin and nerves depending on the type of
Treatment is based on the severity of the illness and organs affected.
Some types of vasculitis can improve on their own and are considered to
be self-limited while others can be very aggressive and lead to kidney
failure or blindness. Your rheumatologist will evaluate you and decide
the best treatment to control your disease.
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